Between 1700 and 1885 the British became the paramount power on the Indian subcontinent, their authority extending from Sri Lankain the south to the Himalayasin the north. It was a massive empire, inspiring both pride and anxiety amongst the British, and forcing change upon and disrupting the lives of its Indian subjects.
Yet it is not simply a history of conquest and subjugation, or dominance and defeat: interaction and interdependency powerfully shaped the histories of all involved. The end result was a hybrid empire. India may have become by 1885 the jewel in the British crown, but by that same year a series of changes had occurred within Indian society that would set the foundations for the modern states of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. This book provides a concise introduction to these dramatic changes.
Douglas Peers teaches Indian and Imperial History at the Universityof Calgary. Previous publications include Between Mars and Mammon: Colonial Armies and the Garrison State in Nineteenth-Century India (1995), co-edited books on J.S. Mill and Indiaand on Indiain the Victorian mass media, and articles on many different aspects of Indian military, literary and political history.